CAPE TOWN – Airport and airline IT executives believe that the growing number of tech-savvy travelers will have the biggest impact on their digital plans over the next six years to 2025. This is revealed in a new report published today by SITA, the leading IT provider to the air transport industry.
The report, 2025: Air Travel for a Digital Age, shows that by 2025, 68% of all passengers will be digital travelers and will expect to manage their travel in much the same way they do every other aspect of their daily lives – using their mobile phones.
This demographic shift has created digital travelers who are demanding more automation and hands-on control over each step of their journey. In particular, they expect to use their mobile phone to access services ranging from baggage location notifications, to boarding and payments. They also expect their trip to be delivered as a single, unified experience across airports, airlines, border control and other modes of transport – from the moment they leave home to when they arrive at their destination.
Barbara Dalibard, SITA CEO, said: "This demographic shift brings with it the expectation to use technology everywhere – including during travel. This will have a profound impact on how passengers interact with airports and airlines by 2025. In fact, 83% of airport and airline IT leaders surveyed by SITA believe that this demographic shift will be the most important influence on their passenger solutions strategy by 2025.”
Dalibard maintains that this shift requires more efficient operations and collaboration between airlines, airports and other stakeholders responsible for delivering that experience. Baggage is a prime example. For a single journey, a bag can change hands a dozen times between the airline, airport, the ground handler and customs agencies. If the right data is not shared between the entities, it is difficult to keep track of that bag or to provide the information the passenger seeks on the whereabouts of their bag.